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GitHub Pages vs Netlify: What are the differences?

GitHub Pages and Netlify are two popular platforms for hosting websites. While both platforms offer similar functionalities, there are key differences between them that make them unique in their own ways.

  1. Deployment Process: GitHub Pages allows users to host static websites by simply pushing their code to a specific branch on a GitHub repository. On the other hand, Netlify provides a more advanced deployment process that includes continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) capabilities. It automatically builds and deploys websites whenever changes are pushed to a connected repository.

  2. Custom Domain: GitHub Pages allows users to use a custom domain for their websites, but it requires users to set up the domain themselves by configuring DNS records. In contrast, Netlify makes the process of adding a custom domain easier by providing a built-in DNS management system. Users can easily set up and manage custom domains directly from the Netlify dashboard.

  3. Build Environment: GitHub Pages has a limited build environment as it supports only a few static site generators and languages. Netlify, on the other hand, provides a wider range of build options. It supports various static site generators, programming languages, and even frameworks like React and Vue.js. This flexibility allows developers to choose the tools and technologies that best suit their project needs.

  4. Serverless Functions: Netlify offers a unique feature called serverless functions, which enables developers to run server-side code on demand without the need to set up and manage a server. This feature is not available on GitHub Pages. It allows developers to build dynamic functionalities and APIs directly into their websites, making them more interactive and powerful.

  5. Form Handling: Netlify provides built-in form handling capabilities, allowing users to collect data from forms on their websites without any additional setup. It generates a serverless function that handles form submissions and provides options to route submissions to email, external APIs, or store them in a database. GitHub Pages does not have a built-in form handling feature and requires users to use third-party services or custom solutions.

  6. Collaboration and Workflow: GitHub Pages is tightly integrated with GitHub, which makes it an ideal choice for developers who already use GitHub for version control and collaboration. It simplifies the workflow by automatically deploying changes whenever code is pushed to the repository. Netlify, on the other hand, provides a more comprehensive collaboration and workflow management system. It allows users to create multiple deployment branches, set up preview environments for pull requests, and perform A/B testing.

In Summary, GitHub Pages offers a straightforward deployment process and integration with GitHub, while Netlify provides advanced features like CI/CD, serverless functions, form handling, and a more robust collaboration workflow.

Decisions about GitHub Pages and Netlify
Howie Zhao
Full Stack Engineer at yintrust · | 7 upvotes · 218.7K views

We use Netlify to host static websites.

The reasons for choosing Netlify over GitHub Pages are as follows:

  • Netfily can bind multiple domain names, while GitHub Pages can only bind one domain name
  • With Netfily, the original repository can be private, while GitHub Pages free tier requires the original repository to be public

In addition, in order to use CDN, we use Netlify DNS.

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